Brigham Young University has a noble organization called the 100 Hour Board,
where students and outsiders alike can anonymously ask any question that plagues their
minds and it will be answered by an equally anonymous person on a staff of twenty.
On November 16, 2000, as a member of the 100 Hundred Hour Board staff, I received this
question. The answer follows.


Question: In the STAR WARS movies, everyone seems scared of stormtroopers.
When examining the Jawa sandcrawler wreck, Obi-Wan Kenobi notes that only
Imperial stormtroopers are this precise.
But they seem to miss everything when they shoot. Exactly how many times do
the stormtroopers actually hit their target during the trilogy? How precise
are they?
-Julio


Julio,
Despite the reputation that the stormtroopers have, they are paradoxically
inclined to missing the action. So I will go movie-by-movie and discuss the
merits of stormtroopers.

In A New Hope, aka the first Star Wars Movie, they are credited with the
destruction of the Jawa sandcrawler, but other than that, they hit not a single
thing. Even when (in a hilarious replay blooper) they get a second-chance at
the same target.

In Empire Strikes Back, the gunners in the All-Terrain-Attack-Transports (those
ugly four-legged machines that attack the Rebel base) are actual stormtroopers,
despite their transformation into snowtroopers for the cold-weather situation.
That means that all those people we see dying because of the ATATs--pilots,
ground troops, etc.--are the victims of stormtroopers. Apparently, after the
disaster of the Death Star, Emperor Palpatine sat them all down and gave them a
crash-course in aiming. And we assume that they hit their target when the
"Imperial troops have entered the base, Imperial troops have..." transmission
was cut off. But then, when they actually invade the base, the cold weather
gets to their brain and they can't hit a single thing, not even the Millenium
Falcon. Same thing on Bespin, though if you look at Lando Calrissian, he gets
an unscripted hit just before they escape.

Then in Return of the Jedi, they've replaced the gunners on the
All-Terrain-Attack-Vehicles (the two-legged version of the AT-ATs) with regular
ground troopers. Now, you may say, "So what, they're still stormtroopers?"
Wrong. Stormtroopers, according to the prequel spoilers are the remnants of the
Mandalorian clones which caused the Clone Wars in which fought Anakin Skywalker,
Obi-wan Kenobi, and Bail Organa (Princess Leia's father). The people in the
AT-AVs are not stormtroopers. They have the same uniform as the Fleet troopers
we see in A New Hope, but they are actually the equivalent of modern-day
infantry. So we cannot credit any of the AT-AV kills (mostly Ewoks) to the
stormtroopers. However, Princess Leia DOES get shot in the arm by a
stormtrooper.

In summation, basically the stormtroopers are the most feared combatants in the
Galaxy not because they are so precise but because you fear that in aiming for
someone ten feet away, they'll hit you.

~Moff Jerjerrod